Gadjo (non-Romani)

In Romani culture, a gadjo (feminine: gadji) is a person who has no Romanipen. This usually corresponds to not being an ethnic Romani, but it can also be an ethnic Romani who does not live within Romani culture. It is often used by Romanies to address or denote outsider neighbors living within or very near their community.

Gorja, often spelled Gorger, is the Angloromani variation of the word Gadjo.


The exact origin of the word is not known. One theory considers that the word comes from the proto-Romani word for "peasant" and has the same root as the Romani word gav (a village).

In SpainEdit

Demonstration against intolerance: "payos and gypsies go hand in hand" (Madrid, May 6 2019)

The word passed from Caló to Spanish slang as gachó[1] (masculine) / gachí[2] (feminine) acquiring the generalized meaning "man, guy" / "woman, girl". The Caló word for a non-Gitano is payo/paya.[3]

In PortugueseEdit

The European Portuguese words gajo (masculine) and gaja (feminine) originated in the Romani/Caló and are used in everyday language to refer informally to a man or a woman, in a usage similar to "guy" in English. The word gazim has been attested as a rare use in Brazilian Portuguese with the meaning of strange (i.e. foreign) woman, probably with roots in the Romani gadji.

In Scotland and Northern EnglandEdit

The word is encountered as gadgie (or sometimes gadge), a term in Scots, formerly only used by the Roma/Traveller community, but since the 20th century in general use by the Scots-speaking population.[4] In most areas it is heard, notably Edinburgh, the Borders and Dingwall,[5] gadgie has a generalised meaning of a man that the speaker doesn't know well. In Dundee it is a more pejorative term, referring to a poorly educated person who engages in hooliganism or petty criminality. In the village of Aberchirder it refers to a born-and-bred local.[6]

The term is also heard in the North East of England, often referring particularly to old men.

See alsoEdit

  • Gadjo dilo ("The crazy gadjo") is a French-Romanian film about a Frenchman who travels to Romania after a Romani musician.
  • Goy
  • Gringo


  1. ^ gachó in the Diccionario de la lengua española.
  2. ^ gachí in the Diccionario de la lengua española.
  3. ^ payo at the Diccionario de la lengua española.
  4. ^ gadgie on the Scots Language Centre.
  5. ^ gadgie in the Dictionary of the Scots Language.
  6. ^ GADGIE on


  • Lev Tcherenkov, Stephan Laederich "The Rroma"
  • Raymond Buckland "Gypsy Witchcraft & Magic"

External linksEdit